A majority of Americans strongly support religious freedom even if the views expressed are deemed “discriminatory,” according to a new study from the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions.
The new data highlighted in Becket’s inaugural Religious Freedom Index: American Perspectives on the First Amendment shows that a majority of Americans support freedom to practice one’s religion at work or in life even if it creates an imposition or inconvenience for others.
“The central finding from this first year’s Index is that broad public support for religious freedom has survived the culture wars. After years of religious freedom being pushed to the center of polarizing debates, rather than reveal a partisan 50-50 split, at 67[%], the Index scored in the upper third on the scale of favorability toward robust religious freedom protections,” Becket said in an announcement to The Christian Post.
“Across dimensions, we saw public support well above 70 percent on many issues, indicating that the concept of religious freedom maintains its place as a core component of American cultural values. The study also found evidence for a preference for a hands-off government approach and support for a culture of accommodation of religious beliefs and practices,” the nonprofit said.
The Religious Freedom Index includes data gathered in an annual online poll in fall 2019 of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults. The poll includes 21 questions that contribute to the Index and will be asked with the same phrasing every year. It also includes additional questions that are not calculated in any of the Index dimensions and will change from year-to-year based on current events, the study said. The polling is expected to take place annually between mid-September and mid-October.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair